PRIDE’s Queer Prom serves as safe place for expression
LU PRIDE hosted its second Queer Prom on April 21 in de Witt Hall. The event was successful last year, allowing the club to throw another prom, which the group has spent a majority of the semester planning.
While members of the e-board worked on logistics for the event such as food, decorations, and music, they also stressed how important marketing the event was in the planning process. “Honestly, the biggest thing is trying to get community outreach. I think that's probably the hardest thing for us right now, because Lasell is a small campus and a lot of people are usually really busy. But we want to plan this sort of event to cater to everyone, not just queer people,” said LU PRIDE President and junior biology major Arianah Rivera.
One of the major goals of the club is to create safe spaces for students on campus to be themselves openly through events like Queer Prom. “I think a lot of people growing up, especially if they are queer, don't have that safe space. So I think being one of the organizations on campus to help create a space for people to feel allowed to be themselves is really important. And it's something that we work really hard to create,” said Social Media Director and junior communications student Kathy Ngo.
“I know that's helped me having those safe spaces to talk about my race, but even just for like queer identity, a lot of people are really nervous to talk about that. And sometimes there's like a lack of education when it comes to ‘Am I queer? How do I figure that out?’ Having a space like PRIDE, we try to basically have an open space for people to discuss those sorts of things. It's super important because it helps you find a new piece of your identity and work through that,” added Rivera.
The prom is an ideal opportunity to create these safe spaces, but also just for students to have a good time, according to sophomore English major and Treasurer Ceci Wood. “I feel like a lot of events that happen on campus sometimes can be so serious. While that's important as well, I think there's a time and place for that, but we're also college students who like to have fun,” said Wood, “And so I'm hoping anybody who comes, whether they're a part of the LGBTQ+ community or not, can enjoy it. It's for anyone that wasn’t out of the time for their prom, didn't get a prom because of COVID, or just wants to get all dressed up and have a nice time. I just want people to feel safe enough to have a fun prom experience.”
The club also provides resources for queer students. People attending Queer Prom can donate to one of these organizations at the event, The Trevor Project. “It is such a vital resource. You know, we try to be as much of a resource to us as we can, but there's only so much we can do, especially in certain situations if someone is feeling unsafe or there is a domestic abuse situation again,” said Wood.
While Queer Prom continues to be a great outlet for queer celebration, the club has long-term goals to create more big events throughout the year aside from just the prom. One idea the club is particularly optimistic of is a drag brunch, given the popularity of other drag events on campus, like drag bingo and the drag show.